Maryland men’s basketball’s road woes continue, fall to Nebraska in overtime

Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

With Maryland trailing by one coming out of a timeout with 36 seconds left, guard Hakim Hart was ready to inbound the ball and passed it to guard Jahmir Young. Young couldn’t handle it as Cornhuskers guard Sam Hoiberg stole Maryland’s inbound and drove to the basket knocking down the wide-open layup, making it a 67-64 game with 31 seconds left. 

Nebraska (14-14, B1G 7-10) knocked down the free throws they needed to send Maryland men’s basketball (18-9, B1G 9-7) to a disappointing 70-66 overtime loss as the Cornhuskers extended their winning streak to three. 

“We had too many turnovers at crucial times,” head coach Kevin Willard said. “I still don’t know what happened at the end of overtime, only down one. Again the way we came out offensively on the road, it’s just killing us.” 

Maryland started this game like t other road games with poor shooting. The Terps started the game 0-3 from the field until forward Donta Scott knocked down a three-pointer. That basket was the first of the game as the Cornhuskers started the game 0-4 from the field before getting their first basket. Scott struggled the rest of the game only shooting 2/16 from the field in the game. 

Both teams started to find their groove, settling into the game trading runs. Nebraska went on a 7-0 and 6-0 scoring runs to take a 15-6 lead. 

Maryland quickly responded with a 10-0 run that included guard Hakim Hart knocking down two three-pointers and forward Patrick Emilien providing a spark. That run helped Maryland briefly take the lead 16-15 before Nebraska answered. 

Cornhuskers guard Keisei Tominaga and forward Derrick Walker led the way in the first half helping Nebraska jump out to a 31-24 lead at halftime. The duo combined for 21 points, getting into the paint and knocking down buckets. Twenty-two of Nebraska’s 31 first-half points came from inside.

Despite Maryland dominating the offensive boards, Nebraska was successful on its second-chance opportunities with 10 in the first half. 

Yet, despite shooting 29% from the field in the first half, Maryland only found itself trailing by seven points as Nebraska shot 45.2% after hitting three three-pointers. 

“We missed a lot of easy shots early with no shot blockers inside,” Willard said. “We just got to take advantage of that stuff.”

The game was physical, leading to players from both teams getting into foul trouble. Maryland started the second half drawing fouls as Walker picked up two fouls and Cornhuskers guard Sam Griesel picked up three quickly, allowing the Terps into the bonus with 16 minutes left in the second half. 

Forward Julian Reese was quiet in the first half, only playing 10 minutes after picking up two fouls, but in the second half, his production skyrocketed the Terps’ comeback effort.. 

Reese recorded a double finishing with 16 points and setting a new career high in rebounds with 16. Hart was also hot, scoring 14 points including shooting 4-6 from beyond the arc.

The Terps retook the lead at 41-38 after Emilien and Hart made a big play. Emilien hustled to the Maryland bench and grabbed the loose ball after guard Ian Martinez’s three-point attempt bounced off the rim. While in the air, Emilien passed the ball out to Hart who hit the wide-open three-pointer to take a 41-38 lead. 

The Terps had difficulty separating from the Cornhuskers with Griesel on the bench and Nebraska stormed back. The Cornhuskers cut Maryland’s lead to one point at 53-52 after Griesel drove to the basket and got his layup to fall with two minutes to go. 

The Terps turned to Young, who scored Maryland’s final five points of regulation but Cornhuskers guard Keisei Tominaga came up clutch knocking down four critical free throws. Walker’s layup in the paint tied the game at 58-58 leaving time on the clock for the Terps to take the final shot. 

Maryland turned to Young again, but his shot rolled off the rim sending the game to overtime, the first overtime under Willard. 

“We had our opportunities,” head coach Kevin Willard said. “I loved Jahmir’s shot at the end of regulation but give them credit. I knew this was going to be a tough one no matter what and they are playing good basketball.”

The teams traded baskets but Hart’s mistake on the inbound pass was the difference maker in ending the Terps’ winning streak.